Policy Academic Governance Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy 01 Jan 2021

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy 01 Jan 2021

Print Friendly and PDFPrint Friendly

(effective from 01 January 2021)


Students are at the heart of our University. JCU is committed to offering a distinctive and relevant course portfolio, developing career-ready graduates, and widening participation through engaging, interactive and flexible approaches to learning, teaching and assessment.

The Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy underpins JCU’s approach to excellence by assuring the quality of learning, teaching and assessment so that students can have every opportunity to achieve academic success.


This policy applies to all JCU staff, all stakeholders who supervise students in partnership with JCU, and students enrolled in subjects within JCU’s diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework courses.

It does not include students admitted into higher degrees by research, or JCU students enrolled in subjects at other institutions.


Definition of terms used in this policy reflect those in the Policy Glossary in the ‘Student’ and ‘Teaching and Course Management’ chapters of the policy library.


The Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy at JCU is driven by the following principles:

Core Principle 1 - Students’ success is built on their whole-of-University experience. JCU is committed to student engagement and success by working in partnership with students and responding to their voice.

Core Principle 2 - Students participate in engaging and futures-orientated courses and subjects. Students are supported through an aligned curriculum with clear statements of intent and demonstrable learning outcomes that respond to professional and discipline requirements.

Core Principle 3 - Assessment is valid, fair, authentic, developmental, transparent, and varied across subjects and disciplines. Aligned and authentic assessment enables students to demonstrate appropriate knowledge, skills and application.

Core Principle 4 - Student learning is facilitated by teaching that is inspiring, motivating and research-informed. Teaching develops and draws on a repertoire of skills and strategies in order to respond to students’ needs, changing contexts and settings.

Academic Integrity Standards diagram.

Learning, Teaching and Assessment at JCU

Source: Inspired by Bernstein (1996), and the Academic Integrity Standards Project (2010-2012).


1. Students

1.1  Learning and teaching at JCU builds and develops students’ academic, transferable, and career management skills.

1.2  Students’ success is prioritised in the provision of targeted and timely educational support, communication, feedback, and quality learning resources.

1.3  Learning, teaching and assessment practices accommodate student diversity including the under- representation and/or disadvantage experienced by identified groups.

1.4  Learning, teaching and assessment at JCU allows for flexibility in delivery of courses and subjects.

2. Curriculum

2.1  Curriculum design must be:

  • Aligned, distinct and coherent;
  • Evidence-based, and research-informed;
  • Inclusive;
  • Responsive to the rich diversity of student backgrounds and future pathways;
  • Offered in ways that provide students with some flexibility, while meeting learning outcomes, accreditation demands, and discipline standards.

2.2  Curriculum design includes the development of transferable skills, digital literacy, and authentic learning.

2.3  Course and subject learning outcomes must be specified, consistent with the level and field of education of the qualification awarded, and informed by national and international comparators.

2.4  Course and subject review must be informed by, and responsive to, feedback.

2.5  Course and subject enhancement is led by a cyclical process of design and review.

3. Assessment

3.1  Assessment must be:

  • Equitable;
  • Consistent with the learning outcomes being assured;
  • Capable of confirming that all specified learning outcomes are achieved.

3.2  A variety of assessment methods are used to assess students’ knowledge, skills and application.

3.3  Assessment processes must support JCU’s commitment to academic integrity.

3.4  Feedback to students must be timely, constructive, clear, and purposeful.

3.5  Moderation of assessment is undertaken to ensure fair and consistent marking.

3.6  Assessment grades and subject results must reflect the level of student attainment and be formally communicated to students in a timely manner.

3.7  Students have the right to request a review of grades and results, and to appeal the outcome of a review.

3.8  All students must make themselves available for assessments and examinations at the scheduled times, and may apply for Special Consideration if affected by Extenuating Circumstances. This applies to all methods and modes of assessment.

4. Teaching

4.1  Teaching at JCU:

  • Enables students to achieve course and subject learning outcomes;
  • Is scholarly, reflective, research-informed, and discipline-specific;
  • Incorporates a variety of methods and modes;
  • Has a local and global outlook which is focused on the Tropics, connected to community; and internationally and culturally informed.

4.2  Teaching environments are fit-for-purpose, student-centered, and technology-enhanced.

4.3  Teaching staff are accessible to students seeking individual assistance with their studies, at a level consistent with the learning needs of the student cohort.

4.4  Academic staff participate in personal and professional reflective practice and continuing professional development activities.

4.5  Excellence in teaching is valued and recognised.

Related policy instruments

Policy Glossary

Academic Integrity Policy

Academic Progression Policy

Bullying, Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy

Casual Teaching by Students Policy

Charter of Responsibilities for Academic Quality and Governance

Coursework Academic Integrity Policy

Coursework Approval, Accreditation and Review Policy

Defence Force, National Service and Elite Athlete Friendly University Procedure

English Language and Numeracy Policy

Graduate Attributes

LearnJCU Content Management Procedure

LearnJCU Data Management Procedure

MBBS Program Assessment Guidelines

Review of a Student’s Suitability to Continue a Course Involving Placement

Special Consideration Procedure

Student Academic Misconduct Procedure

Student Review and Appeals Policy

Student Complaint Management Policy

Student Digital Experience Policy

Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) Policy

Student Retention Policy

Subject Outlines Procedure,

Work Integrated Learning Policy, 2020

Other related documents and legislation

Student Charter

Australian Qualifications Framework, 2nd Edition, 2013.

Disability Discrimination Act – Education Standards 2005.JCU Academic Plan 2018-2022.

Review of the Australian Qualifications Framework Final Report, October 2019.

TEQSA Guidance Note: Diversity and Equity 1.2, October 2017.

Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015.


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainAcademic Governance
Policy Sub-domainLearning and Teaching

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review (in accordance with the Policy Handbook)

1 December 2025

Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date






Policy reviewed and major amendments incorporated to take into account JCU’s strategic plans, JCU policies and charters and requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework, and Higher Educations Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015.

Dean, Learning Teaching and Student Engagement




Minor amendments to reflect establishment of Student Appeals Policy

Chair of Academic Board




Update role title to reflect current organisational structure

Quality, Standards and Policy Officer




Improved alignment with Subject Outlines Policy. Approved Academic Board 25/9/17 subject to minor clarification – see Cl 5.22.4

Assoc Dean, Teaching Quality and Student Engagement




Minor amendment - Addition to CP7 of clause 7.3

Head, Blended Learning and Innovation




Minor amendments to align with Council approved Academic and Student Delegations Register

Associate Director, Enrolment and Client Services




Amendment to Clause 5.4.2 to encourage assessment integrity.

Chair Academic Policy Sub-Committee on behalf of the DVCA




Incorporation of Academic Acknowledgement and Plagiarism Policy (and subsequent disestablishment). Other amendments as detailed in Academic Board minutes (6/14) 10/11/2014.

Chair Academic Policy Sub-Committee

14-1 (3.0)



Roles amended to reflect organisation re-structure

Policy Officer

13-1 (2.0)



Amendments approved by Academic Board 1/13: addition of Work Integrated Learning definition; addition of reference to TEQSA Threshold Standard in CP6, section 6.2 and also to Related documents, legislation or JCU Statutes. (Formerly referred to as 13-1)


11-1 (1.0)



Policy established (Formerly referred to as Version 11-1)



Learning, teaching, assessment, feedback, examinations, assessment methods, flexible, inclusive, curriculum design, learning outcomes, moderation, marking, student experience.